Oil spill: BP accused of using Gulf of Mexico as ‘toxic testing-ground’

By Jacqui Goddard, Miami
15 May 2010

State officials are angry that federal regulators gave the company permission to try out new chemical techniques to break up and hold back the growing tide of oil.

Despite registering concerns about the potential implications for the environment, marine life and human health, Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration was cut out of deliberations over the use of dispersants that break up the oil, as the Environmental Protection Agency granted BP permission to release large quantities underwater.

“We don’t have any data or evidence behind the use of these chemicals in the water. We’re now basically using one of the richest ecosysystems in the world as a laboratory,” complained Alan Levine, the head of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals.

Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive officer, told WAFB Channel 9 news station that the chemical has undergone “lots of testing” and is biodegradable. “We believe it’s a very effective way of containing this spill until such time as we can eliminate the leak,” he added.

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